hello, goodbye

We recently swapped out nearly all of our plastic storage containers for glass ones. Now I don’t have to worry about harmful chemicals leaching off of the plastic and making their way in to my food and in to my body. No more smells sticking around even after the plastic has been washed and washed and no more stained containers…just good old, safe GLASS.

So goodbye plastic...

And hello glass!

Plus, these are just so darn pretty!

We now use a variety of glass containers that we got from Crate & Barrel, The Container Store, Goodwill and re-used containers that once held a variety of items from the grocery store (pasta sauce, fruit, etc). And nicely enough, they don't take up any more room in our drawers and shelves than the plastic containers. Yay us! :)


Warm it up, Chris

I don’t have a before photo for this project, just an after. But look at all this pretty insulation in our attic!

When my brother-in-law told me how he’d added bats of insulation to their attic in Portland, I was all “Oh I could totally do that myself in our house!”. And I fully intended to, too. Really and truly I did.

But then on our anniversary, after Karl’s family left from their annual visit, I decided to climb up in to the attic to (1) see how difficult it would be to move around up there, and (2) solve the mystery of what was in a cardboard box that we could see sitting on a rafter about halfway down the length of our house.

This short adventure involved scooting around on my tush, navigating a few small pieces of plywood to keep from crashing through the ceiling, inhaling far too much insulation dust, narrowly avoiding a tetanus infection from all of the rusty nails that poke through the very low roof (nails that are holding down the roof tiles, I presume) and swearing sweating up a storm….until I finally arrived at the mystery box. What secret treasures awaited me inside that box, I wondered? Would it allow me to retire early? Oh pretty please with sugar on top?!

Umm, it was a @%$(*#! box of…LOOSE INSULATION. Are you freaking kidding me?? Really? A box of insulation?!?

After dropping the f-bomb and throwing a small fit sighing in frustration, I stooped and scooted my way out of that attic and promptly got online to find someone who I could hire to blow the insulation in for us. Fast forward to a few weeks later and some very polite men pulled up to our house in a very big truck and made quick work of our attic. And now we’re snug as a bug in a rug with our up-to-code attic insulation!

And really, other than having to pay an extra $250 to have them repair some stupid stuff up there, the cost of hiring someone was really comparable to if I’d just gone to Lowes or Home Depot and turned this in to a DIY project.

Now, does anyone have a good but relatively cheap plumber?? I want to replace our plumbing next!



Check out our new coffee bean container that we picked up from Target!

And the best part about it?

As far as I know, nothing made in India has been found to be contaminated with melamine…



When I decided to grow a vegetable garden this year I had grand plans of all the food that I’d be putting up for the winter. Heck, I even bought a huge pressure canner just for the job (thanks for helping me find that, BTW, Dad!).

But I really had no idea just how much you have to grow in order to eat fresh veggies AND still have enough left over to can. And since my garden was fairly small (relatively speaking), dreams of our pantry being lined with row upon row of jars of homegrown food kind of went out the window.

Except, that is, for one batch of salsa (and the peach jam made earlier in the year). It’s a lot of work to make your own food! There were moments when I wondered what I’d gotten myself into with all the chopping (and chopping, and chopping, and chopping…) and good lord ALL THE DISHES! All in our small kitchen…a kitchen that doesn’t have a dishwasher for pete’s sake!

But that was all forgotten when I tried the first scoop of salsa on a tortilla chip. Before long Karl and I were practically in a shoving match to have the best spot by the bowl of salsa, it was that good. And now every time I look at those cute little jars of salsa it just makes me happy.

I would totally do this again.

(I used this recipe, in case you are interested. That blog is a recent find of mine that I will definitely be turning to for inspiration when planning next year’s garden!)


what a hoot

We saw this dog sweater at Target recently and just could not resist! Henry wasn't so sure about it at first, but he quickly warmed up to the idea...especially once he realized how much extra attention we were giving his cute little self when he was wearing it!



Absentee ballots have been mailed. This is one historic election, indeed, and I just had to take a picture!

In a few weeks we'll know if our country has elected its first African American president or its first female vice president. Opinions aside, this is one for the record books.



When my nephew was here, we were enchanted by the movie Bridge to Terabithia. Such a sweet movie about opening your mind to your imagination. I highly recommend it!

So after we watched the movie, we took a walk and Alexander suggested that we take a walk in the woods near our house that Karl and I had not yet explored. After being a bit resistant initially (it was getting dark the first night), we went in to the woods....only to find our own Terabithia! Come along with us on our walk while we open our minds to our imagination, won't you?

We came across a castle where the royals of Terabithia live...

We found the fairies' favorite sunbathing spot...

Oh look! Here's where the villagers live!

And finally, a dainty little chair for a sweet afternoon siesta...

We had so much fun on our trip to Terabithia! :)


pumpkin patch

Last weekend we went to the pumpkin patch with some friends. The weather was nice and sunny and not too cold, and the selection of pumpkins was really good. I love this time of year!

Even though he wouldn't admit it, somebody felt the need to guard our wagon full of pumpkins to make sure nobody took our treasures (that's him in the middle of the photo with his hands on his hips)... :)

And no post would be complete without a photo of two of the little cuties that were with us that day. Such brotherly love!


First photos!

I got a new camera! Some of you know that I've been wanting a DSLR for several years now but have been happily making due with my trusty point & shoot. Well, this past week I finally took the plunge! I got a Canon Digital Rebel XSi, and so far I've been very happy with it. I still have lots and lots of learning to do, and I have to get the dog and cats to stop being scared of the noises it makes so I can actually take pictures of them without such skeptical looks on their faces. :)

Here are my first two 'real' photos taken with the new camera...

(Notice all that crud on Henry's beard? That would be the result of one of his favorite pastimes...foraging for bird seed!)

At first glance, these two photos probably don't seem all that different from my old photos. The big difference is that I didn't have to work nearly as hard to make the camera do what I wanted it to, and these haven't been edited in Photoshop at all. I hope that as time goes on I learn more and more about my new toy so I can improve my skills. It's going to be a fun journey!

Happy Sunday!



We had a fun weekend visit with my 8-yr-old nephew recently, and one of the fun things we did was go to a Mariners game. They actually won! And we got to sit in the suite, so that was extra fun for all of us. :)

(oh boy, oh boy....look at all those baseball cards!)

See that plastic cup in the background? Made from corn and 100% compostable. Cool!



From this garden bounty, I made 3 quarts of tomato sauce for the freezer and had several yummy salads as well. I love having a garden!


Family visit

Several weeks ago my inlaws came for a visit. Here are some photos!

Went to the Space Needle...

Saw Hank Azaria up there...

Sibling love...

Went hiking at Twin Falls...

Henry loved it!...

He didn't, however, love the elk that we saw on our way out (we thought they were pretty cool though!)...

Went up to Bellingham and hiked some more...

Took the scenic drive home...

And enjoyed a pretty sunset on the ferry...

Susan, Rocky and Laura....thank you so much for coming to visit! As always, we had an absolutely wonderful time!